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Are Your Employees Putting Your Company at Risk?

By John Garza
Aug 11, 2016

Business today is extremely connected.

According to Nielsen data, in 2011 over 274 million Americans were connected to the internet. That was in the US alone and 5 years ago no less. Today it’s approximated that there are about 3 billion global internet users further proving that the world of online commerce and business promotion is officially the norm and will be the staple for decades to come.

Having your business online is common place these days and the work PC is being used in many different ways. Some sell their products online. Others depend on the internet to drive information in and out of their business.  Some don’t even use the internet at all for the purpose of transacting but they coexist with an internet connection as they run their business through an internal network.  The bottom line is that we are all connected and with every connection there lies a potential target for cyber attacks and threats like ransomware. 

Just like you have a plan to safeguard your physical business location, you should also have a plan to protect your networks and your data.

That is a new normal and should be included as part of any business strategy for success. That said, you might have all the sophisticated security safeguards in place but many businesses often overlook the one thing that could still trip them up…humans.  That’s right. Your people are the ones that keep the passwords safe.  They are the ones that check email and click on links from your work location.  They are the ones that are answering phones and talking with people about your private company information and client data.  They are also the ones that tend to make that one mistake that puts your business in jeopardy.

So in addition to making sure you have offsite data backups and have a network threat protection system in place, make sure you have processes and procedures for how your employees should responsibly conduct themselves while at work.  Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Make sure your business has a set of clear and concise rules that detail what your employees can download and install on their computers.  Have security software in place yes, but also have them sign something that fully details the rules by which they should conduct themselves while on a work computer.

  2. Have your employees undergo training on email and browser threats like ransomeware. Suspicious links are one thing but today’s cyber criminals are savvy on how they mask links in emails, social media, and websites.  Make sure your team is trained on what to look out for and be rigorous about how they vet each click of the mouse.

  3. Use an automatic backup service like Jungle Disk and make sure each employee is fully trained on how the application works and the value it provides.

  4. Restrict access to sensitive data.  Make sure you have an access tree in place that grants the right persons with the right level of permissions.  You may not want a receptionist having access to in-depth customer information as this increases your level of risk.

  5. Ensure your business and employees are utilizing very complex passwords to log into work systems.  Have established criteria in place and use the highest recommended security standards for password setting.  Also, keep your passwords in a safe place and have policy around password safekeeping.  

  6. Instruct your employees to be vigilant and to speak up when they see or hear something that they find conspicuous.

  7. Have your staff regularly trained on phishing and other social engineering methods that dangerous actors are using to gain access.

  8. Lastly, make sure that as an employer you are keeping up with the latest information to help safeguard your business.  Organizations like the FTC have ways to help get you going.

Now that you have the basics you can start putting together a plan of action that will keep your employees from putting your business at risk.  If you need help putting together a data security plan, please contact our experts at Jungle Disk or by calling +1 (888) 601-0401. Good luck!